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Rediff.com  » News » Cabinet reshuffle buzz: Soni, Sahay out, Chiranjeevi in

Cabinet reshuffle buzz: Soni, Sahay out, Chiranjeevi in

Last updated on: October 27, 2012 20:12 IST

Cabinet reshuffle buzz: Soni, Sahay out

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The stage is set now for a major revamp of the Union Council of Ministers on Sunday with the likely induction of at least ten new faces and promotion of some ministers of state, besides a rejig in the Cabinet, in which Anand Sharma may get the external affairs portfolio.

Ahead of the reshuffle, three Cabinet ministers Ambika Soni (information and broadcasting), Mukul Wasnik (social justice) and Subodh Kant Sahay (tourism) and Minister of State Mahadev Khandela (tribal affairs) resigned on Saturday.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had quit on Friday.
 
The ceremony for swearing in of new ministers is scheduled at 11.30 am at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday when a number of new faces are likely to be inducted.

Sharma, who is tipped to move from the commerce ministry to take the place of Krishna, has already done a stint in the MEA as minister of state.  

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Image: Anand Sharma


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Cabinet reshuffle buzz: Soni, Sahay out

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D Purandeswari, a Member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh and daughter of the late N T Rama Rao, may take charge of the commerce ministry after her eight-year tenure as MoS in the human resources development ministry.

Prominent among the expected newcomers are actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi (Andhra Pradesh), A H Khan Chowdhry, brother of late A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhry, Pradeep Bhattacharya and Deepa Dasmunsi (West Bengal), Tariq Anwar
(Maharashtra), Pradeep Balmuchu (Jharkhand) and Pradeep Majhi (Odisha).

Besides Purandeswari and Ajay Maken, who could also be promoted as a Cabinet minister, ministers of state who could be upgraded are Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Milind Deora.

Maken may get the information and broadcasting portfolio.

In the rejig of portfolios, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath is likely to be given additional charge of parliamentary affairs, now held by Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is expected to retain water resources.

Anwar, a Nationalist Congress Party MP, is expected to be made minister of state for agriculture to work under his party chief Sharad Pawar.

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Image: Chiranjeevi


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Cabinet reshuffle buzz: Soni, Sahay out

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Along with the revamp in the Council of Ministers, there is a possibility of long-awaited restructuring in the All India Congress Committee to make it ready organisationally for the next Lok Sabha elections slated in 2014.

While submitting their resignations, Soni, Wasnik and Sahay said they will work for the party.

Soni was Congress general secretary for several years and was political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi while Wasnik was handling the dual responsibilities of being Congress general secretary as well as a Union minister.

Before meeting the prime minister, Sahay had said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had called him to draft him for party work.

"It is an honour to work for the party. I am offering my resignation to the prime minister. Party president (Sonia Gandhi) and others want me to work for the party so I will be working to strengthen the party as the party is supreme. We are in the government because of the party. Party is supreme and will always be supreme," he said.

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Image: Subodh Kant Sahay


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Cabinet reshuffle buzz: Soni, Sahay out

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Sahay's name had cropped up in connection to a controversy following a media expose that he had recommended for allocation of coal block a company in Jharkhand in which his brother was a director.

Soni said, "I have taken the prime minister's permission to resign. It is not appropriate if I do it on my own so I have taken his permission and explained it to him".

Asked if she was willing to work for the party, she said, "I think it is an honour".

Wasnik said, "I have been working for the organisation for the last several years and I would like to work for the organisation".

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Image: Ambika Soni


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